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Pat Piper has made a career learning something new. As a journalist in the news business, “something new” occurs every hour so he’s becoming an expert at understanding stuff he never thought about. Learning became a common word in “Future Talk: Conversations About Tomorrow” (Warner Books), the popular book he ghostwrote with Larry King as […]

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Archive for July, 2017

A Different View of Health Care

By on July 30, 2017 in See It Here

The President of the United States and the Republican leadership in Congress have been telling us for the past six months that “Obamacare is a disaster.”

And we know how effective they are when it comes to giving speeches. Nothing has happened, despite all the eloquent talk-emails-and of course the closed door negotiations because they know best how to fix things.

There is some fact in their claim that insurance carriers are walking away from the Affordable Care Act. It is true many states have only one insurance plan from which to choose.

But.

If you were an insurance company and had tried to put together a five-year (heck, make it five months) business plan, it would be pretty tough to do with all the banter about how the government was going to repeal and replace most of the work your company does. One would say, the hell with it and find another market for the product.

Think about that the next time the president and his buddies start their routine (which they will within the next ten seconds) about how Obamacare is a failure.

Those who open their mouth oughta also open their eyes…and maybe listen to their words.

Weekly Address Ad Nauseum

By on July 14, 2017 in See It Here

I’ve had some experience with the president and opposing party Weekly Addresses. Years ago my Saturday mornings were spent traveling with an engineer to the Oval Office or to Camp David or to California to produce President Reagan’s weekly address which, way back then, was done live. I looked at a watch and at 9am ET straight up, pointed a finger at the president, mouthing the word “go.” And President Reagan did just that and spoke for five minutes to the country. The same was done for the Democrats, usually at our studios in a building in Arlington. Because this was live, it was radio theater, sometimes with a few ad libs and there was always a deep sigh of relief when concluded, that the one shot everyone had to make it work was successful. President Reagan used to look at me when he was done reading and mouth the word, “OK?”

Today, these things are recorded and made available on Friday afternoon for immediate release. Not to sound like an aging hack but, the Weekly Address has become scripted, predictable, boring and with little news value.

Which brings me to the bottom line (or pretty close to the bottom line): The Republicans have bored me (and others, I hope) with Weekly Addresses for the past seven years by saying the same thing in every address: the Affordable Care Act doesn’t work and is one more example of the government telling everyone else how to live.

And now, with the GOP is in control of everything, there is no agreement on what a health care plan for America should do and not do. All I hear every week in these things is “we gotta repeal Obamacare.”

I used to think (1) you can’t make this stuff up and (2) we all can’t be this stupid to figure out a health care plan since other countries around the world seem to have one.

I don’t think that anymore.

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